With a seemingly never-ending wet spring full of muddy trails, wet leaves, and slippery roots, the Ultrabite made a dramatic improvement to the grip compared with the outgoing G-One Speed, letting me ride more confidently and giving me the ability to pedal through the muck. As things have dried out, high speed rocky gravel descents and dancing in and out of loamy single track continue to deliver grip and traction in every corner, letting me ride as close to a mountain bike as I’ve yet on a gravel machine.
The Aggressive tread design of the Schwalbe G-One Ultrabite is composed of “tape-knobs” in the middle and strong blocks on the outer. The combination of this tread pattern provides traction and smooth rolling when upright, with a mountain bike tire like grip in the corners when the bike is leaned over. As a pairing, this has produced unrivaled grip and traction for the trails. On the other hand, if your riding conditions are mixed pavement and trail or mainly hardpack dirt roads, taking a bit of wisdom from the mountain bike world and running the traction up front with something more efficient and faster rolling in the rear may be the ideal setup to increase rolling speeds without sacrificing all control.
Most of my gravel rides begin about 12 miles from my doorstep, and there is an element of feeling bad riding such aggressive tires on the road to get there. That being said, the rolling resistance and general wear on the commute haven’t seemed to affect grip levels off-road. When considering the rolling resistance the Ultrabite offers, on the Niner RLT e9 RDO with a Bosch mid drive, the overall range per full charge has been affected by an unmeasurably small amount. On a lesser powered electric gravel bike or a standard gravel bike the Ultrabite will have a greater impact on both battery range and rider energy levels. So it’s worth considering if it’ll be worth it for you.
With summer in full swing and taking the advice from Schwalbe, switching the rear out to an Allroad with the Ultrabite up front is so far proving to be a good middle ground for long days in the woods. I would note that if you have a commute like myself, it’s worth riding with a pump to regulate tire pressures between the pavement and trails, helping keep the tires as efficient as possible and tailor their performance to the terrain below. With relatively low pressures, the performance of the G-One Ultrabite tires is seriously impressive off-road, but airing back up for smoother terrain feels to make considerable improvements to rolling speed and efficiency.
There are very few things that affect how well a bike performs as much as tires do. As your only point of contact with the ground below, it’s worth paying attention to the terrain you’ll be riding and the tires you’re running to ensure you have the right balance of efficiency and traction. The Schwalbe G-One Ultrabite tires make a considerable difference for the rugged and wet terrain over your more conventional slicker tread gravel tires. For riders that see more of a mix of pavement and trail or have long hardpack dirt roads, these may not be the best for them. For us, the Schwalbe G-One Ultrabite in the Evolution Line with the Super Ground Compound and Addix Speedgrip Casing offers considerable benefits for year-round gravel riding on the more extreme off-road terrain.
Sizing: 650x(40, 50) & 700x(40, 45, 50)
Sidewall Colors: Black, Bronze, Classic